While not as common as gas, groceries, drugstores, or airline spend, some credit cards consider “utilities” as a bonus category. Most famously, the Chase Ink business cards pay 5x or 3x on “utilities” cel phone, cable, and a few other related categories.
However, chase and others don’t pay a bonus on many utilities, due to the merchant coding not registering as “utilities.” For example, City of Spokane water / sewer garbage bills are coded not as “utilities” per se, but as “BUSINESS / PROFESSIONAL SERVICES - 5969”, with the numbers referring to the MCC, or “merchant classification code.” Therefore no bonus is triggered from Chase.
Barclays offers at least one Visa card that bonuses utilities 2x–their Wyndham Rewards card. I assumed that they would treat non- or mis-classified utilities charges the same way, and not bonus them. Happily, they interpret the category broadly. I am not sure how…perhaps by awarding he bonus if the MCC is correct or the term “utilities” is in the charge? Would be curious if anyone has more info on this.
Let’s share info on which cards bonus what “utilities” charges. Thanks in advance for your data points and sources!
(For reference, you can check the MCC at https://www.visa.com/supplierlocator/search/index.jsp )